• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In the current atmosphere of closer scrutiny of healthcare practices and procedures, front-line managers and health care providers must investigate potential problems in their work environment, whether at the behest of upper management, in order to meet Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) standards, or through their own sense that “weÆre doing something wrong.” For the investigator with limited previous experience in evaluation or research, the prospect of undertaking this kind of investigation can appear daunting, to say the least. Quality Improvement Projects in Health Care was written just for this individual. Author Eleanor Gilpatrick, a seasoned investigator and professor of health services administration, provides a review of the basic terminology and guidelines for carrying out “nuts-and-bolts” quality improvement research. She then demonstrates how such a research project can be implemented through 14 case studies involving actual health care situations. Altogether, the cases speak to a broad array of issues and potential pitfalls for the unwary investigatorŭand they show that progress can be made in even the most difficult circumstances. Quality Improvement Projects in Health Care will be of interest to students and professionals in health sciences administration, nursing, allied health, and public health.

Patients Waiting for Radiation Therapy During Scheduled Visits1
Case 2: Patients waiting for radiation therapy during scheduled visits

In this case, patients who came to receive radiation therapy were waiting to be seen. The case was an example of the variety of methods that can be used to identify real causes.

Proving the Problem
The Problem

Bob was a senior radiation therapy technologist in a 6-technologist radiation therapy department of a county hospital. The technologists had been concerned about the length of time patients seemed to be waiting for treatment after they arrived at the department for their scheduled visits; when the issue of quality improvement arose, they suggested this problem for study. Bob asked to function as the internal consultant.

The Client and Importance

The clients were the chief physician ...

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